Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DUTCH SILENCE OVER BESA LINKS?



Dutch Ambassador to Macedonia silent over “links” to Albanian party Besa.

by Sasha Uzunov

The Netherlands Ambassador to Macedonia Mr Wouter Plomp has declined to comment over claims that his country has financed or assisted Albanian political party Besa.

Besa leader Bilall Kasami was contacted for a comment and he too has not responded.

Besa is an ethnic Albanian political party, recently formed in Macedonia and a member of the current coalition govetrment led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. The controversial Culture Minister is Asaf Ademi from Besa.

Besa has been portrayed as an Erdogan inspired Islamist party but Dutch diplomatic sources have told TEAM UZUNOV that this is simply a political smokescreen to hide Dutch and US influence. 

Besa is demanding that Albanian be made the second official language in Macedonia on par with Macedonian and embedded in the constitution despite language rights already guaranteed by 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement. 

Besa supports name change for Macedonia and the Prespa Agreement and has threatened to remove its support in parliamentary votes now being undertaken to implement constitutional changes in line with the Prespa Agreement. Many Macedonians see the Agreement as a western sponsored plan to erase Macedonian identity to satisfy Greek and Bulgarian nationalist demands in order for Macedonia to gain entry into the EU and NATO

Both Greece and Bulgaria are EU and NATO members and have in effect blackmailed Macedonia unless it makes dramatic changes to its identity, something extraordinary in terms of demands.

Macedonia’s Culture Minister Ademi, from Besa, sought to ban a Macedonian film by director Jani Bojadzi called The Mocking of Christ which has a scene depicting Albanian terrorists based on a real life event from the 2001 ethnic Albanian war in Macedonia. The ban was overturned in court but most cinemas, which are under state control or influence, have declined to show. So an unofficial ban and censorship is in place. 



A Dutch diplomat, who has asked not to be named and who has worked in most parts of the Balkans has told TEAM UZUNOV blog that the Netherland’s Embassy in Macedonia acts as a kind of grooming or “Swiss finishing school” for budding ethnic Albanian politicians.

“It’s not about handing over bags of cash. It’s not that crude. It’s more like investing time and money in taking some Albanian political proteges, teaching them how to speak in front of the media, social networking, even the way they dress. They are then placed in positions of power and push an agenda that’s favourable to the Netherlands in Macedonia.”

PROMINENT DUTCH PROTEGES - Artan Grubi, Kastriot Rexhepi 


ARTAN GRUBI - began working for the Netherlands Embassy and branched out as a “civic activist” which in reality meant Albanian nationalist activist. He made a name for himself in violent clashes over the building of a possible Macedonian Orthodox Church in Skopje. 

He holds extremist views, labelling Macedonians as “Slavs” and advocating ethnic cleansing of Macedonians. Not surprisingly he was recruited by the main ethnic Albanian political party DUI led by ex terrorist turned politician Ali AHmeti who started the 2001 war in Macedonia ostensibly for a land grab rather than for human rights. 

An article from Balkan Insight website, largely pro Albanian portal purporting to be impartial, had this to report about Grubi back in 2013 -see link here

Skopje criminal court on Tuesday handed down seven-month suspended sentences to participants in the clashes between ethnic Albanians, who were angry about the controversial building of a museum in the style of a church at the fortress, and Macedonians who said they came to defend the construction site.

They were convicted of taking part in a mass brawl and obstructing officials, but will only face jail if they reoffend within two years.

Eight people were injured in the violence in February 2011.

It erupted amid fears raised by some Albanian Muslims that the church-like museum, which stands on the site of a demolished medieval church, would at some stage become an active Christian place of worship in an area of the city that they see as their own.

The violence was organised on over social networks by the ethnic Macedonian group, which was mainly composed of football fans, and the ethnic Albanians who were mobilised by an NGO called Razbudi se (Wake Up).

The leader of Razbudi se was Artan Grubi, who has since entered politics. He has been nominated by the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, the ethnic Albanian party that’s the junior partner in Macedonia’s ruling coalition, as its candidate for mayor of Skopje in the upcoming local elections scheduled for March 24.

The fortress clashes also provoked debates about the actions of deputy interior minister Xhevat Buci, an ethnic Albanian who was observed at the scene of the violence taking handcuffs off some of those arrested by the police.
---------
GRUBI’s VIEWS ABOUT MACEDONIANS - he subscribes to the Greek/Serb/Bulgar colonial theory that Macedonians are Slavs who arrived in Macedonia in the 7th century, a claim disputed by mainstream academic Dr Florin Curta who says there was no Slavic migration. see link here

Grubi also advocates the ultra nationalist view that Albanians are “indigenous” and Macedonians should be deported back - ethnic cleansed - over the Carpathian Mountains - now in the Ukraine as alleged Slavs. 

That the Western backers of Grubi have deliberately turned a blind eye to his extremism and penchant for violence is alarming and indicates a hidden agenda.


ALARMING STATUES

Within DUI’s ranks is ex Gostivar Mayor and former Macedonia Minister Nevzat Bejta who has built World War II Albanian Nazi collaborator statues in Macedonia. This is a touchy subject for Western backers, including the Dutch, of Albanian leaders. So much so that current Dutch Ambassador Wouter Plomp has nervously refused to comment on it.





Dutch Ambassador Plomp’s refusal to comment on WWII Albanian Nazi collaborator statues. No doubt inspired by having Artan Grubi once working for the Netherlands Embassy and would raise questions about pandering if not promoting Albanian extremism in Macedonia by the Netherlands.




KASTRIOT REXHEPI - Besa Vice President.

Another protege of the Dutch Embassy is Kastriot Rexhepi who has advertised it loudly and predominately on social media. As mentioned above Besa has made a number of nationalist demands including language “rights” and seeking a ban on a Macedonian film which portrays a real life event - Albanian terrorists from the 2001 war in Macedonia.






































QUESTIONS POSED TO THE NETHERLAND’S AMBASSADOR TO MACEDONIA 

1. Ambassador Plomp, does The Netherlands government or any Netherlands institutions or organisations either private or public finance the ethnic Albanian political party in Macedonia called BESA? 


2. Ambassador Plomp, The Netherlands was a victim of Nazi occupation during WWII but has remained silent over the building of Albanian Nazi statues in Macedonia. Sir, will you be issuing an official statement condemning WWII Albanian Nazi collaborator statues built in Macedonia by Albanian politicians?

QUESTIONS POSED TO BILALL KASAMI LEADER OF BESA:

1. Dali Besa dobiva pomos od Ambasadata na Holandija vo Makedonija?

2. Dali Besa dobiva finansiski donacii (paricni) od Holandija - od drzavni institucii ili privatni NGO (ne vladini organizacii)?

3. Dali Besa kje pobara da se trgne spomenikot vo Simnica za Xhem Hasa, Albanski nacist i sorabotnik na Hitlerova Germanija vo vremeto na Vtorata Svetska Vojna?

4. Albanski politicari koj barat imeto na Makedonija da se smeni, mnogu makedonci go tolkuvat kako Albanski rasizam kon makedonci. Sto e tvojata reakcija?

5. Hipoteticki, dali bi reagiral ako etnicki Grk politicar vo Albania pobaral imeto na Albanija da se smeni?

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

1. Does Besa receive assistance from the Netherlands Embassy in Macedonia?
2. Does Besa receive any financial donations from the Netherlands - either from state institutions or private NGOs (Non Government Organisations)?
3. Will Besa seek to remove the statue in Simnica of Xhem Hasa, the Albanian Nazi and collaborator with Hitler’s Germany during World War II?
4. Albanian politicians who seek to change Macedonia’s name are regarded by many Macedonians as being Albanian racism towards Macedonians. What is you reaction to that?
5. Hypothetically if an ethnic Greek politician in Albania campaigned to change Albania’s name would you react?


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Thursday, November 08, 2018

YES OR NO?- LAWYER TOO BUSY TO ANSWER PRESPA DEAL QUESTION

by Sasha Uzunov 

A spokeswoman for a prominent Anglo-Irish international jurist said the lawyer was too busy to answer whether or not she was involved in drafting the controversial Prespa Agreement signed by Greece and Macedonia, which will erase Macedonian identity, this despite the lawyer being engaged to “advise” Macedonia on name change !

Ms Blinne Ni Ghralaigh of UK based Matrix Chambers legal firm issued a statement through the firm’s media spokeswoman, Ms Rachel Murray, to Team Uzunov Blog:

"I’m afraid Blinne is extremely busy at the moment and unfortunately I don’t think she is going to be able to assist you with your enquiries."

Questions posed to Ms Ni Ghralaigh were:

-I wanted to ask you if you were involved in drafting or putting together the Prespa Agreement?
-Were you approached by the Macedonian government in any way?
-Were [ex US State Department official] Dr Amanda Sloat and ######## involved in the preparation of the Prespa Agreement?



Ms Ni Ghralaigh lists in her legal CV (resume) as advising Macedonia on name negotiations with Greece in relation to joining international organistions.

She has previously worked for Macedonia in its legal case against Greece over the 1995 Interim Agreement. 

Macedonians recently boycotted in large numbers a referendum held on 30 September this year over accepting the Prespa Agreement which would change Macedonia’s name to North Macedonia in order to satisfy Greek nationalist demands and remove Athens’ veto over Macedonia’s application to join the EU and NATO.

Critics see the Prespa Agreement as being drafted by the United States and imposed upon Macedonia for Washington’s strategic needs but deliberately presented as though it was the joint product of Macedonia and Greece. 



The US Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr Jess Baily, when confronted with the allegations, responded:

Sasha Uzunov: [US] Ambassador Baily, sir, did Amanda Sloat write the Prespa Agreement, sir, a former US State Department official, sir? Did she write it, sir? From the Brookings Institute. Do you wish to comment Ambassador Baily, sir?

Amb Baily: Mr Uzumanov [Uzunov], um, I think that is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard in my life. The Prespa Agreement was negotiated by the governments of Macedonia and Greece with the help of the United Nations. I don’t think you need to look any further than that. Thank you very much.

Sasha Uzunov: You would testify before [US] Congress and Senate, sir?

Amb Bodyguard: gotovo, gotovo [comment finished]

Amb Baily: Absolutely.

Sasha Uzunov: No worries. Thank you for your comment, sir.




What adds spice to the story is Dr Sloat despite being asked a number of times, via email, telephone message left with her researcher, and on social media, has declined to confirm or deny the allegation of her being the author or one of the authors of the Prespa Agreement. This remains puzzling...


Macedonia’s Justice Minister, Mrs Renata Deskoska, being a senior minister in Prime Minister Zaev’s cabinet, admitted she had no idea who wrote the Prespa Agreement:




The Defence Minister, Ms Radmila Sekerinska, reacted somewhat bizarrely over being asked if Dr Amanda Sloat was the author of the Prespa Agreement.




- BACKGROUND STORY - see link here



PRESPA AGREEMENT PUT TO PARLIAMENTARY VOTE IN MACEDONIA - OCTOBER 19, 2018



GUN-VOTE DIPLOMACY? POLITICAL THEATRE TOUR DE FORCE....FARCE - how it unfolded...80 MPs votes to secure 2/3 majority. 8 Opposition MPs cross the floor to vote for name change

Macedonia Parliament vote wash up on the controversial Prespa Agreement- the massive police presence in town in the capital Skopje during the day suggested that the vote was on tonight in the Assembly. 

The crescendo of reports of MPs being threatened, bought off etc etc in the end sounded nothing more than cheap theatrics from both the governing SDSM party and the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party to collude to get the Prespa Deal through..despite VMRO-DPMNE being opposed to the Deal.


It gave the Opposition the escape hatch it needed in order not alienate its supporter base. But in the end enormous US pressure won out to change Macedonia’s name and identity for strategic needs - getting it into NATO and appeasing Greek and Bulgar nationalist demands (both NATO allies).

The vote now opens up the Macedonian constitution to be changed as per the Prespa Agreement - namely Macedonia becoming North Macedonia; giving up any claims to any ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece, changing history books, removing any reference to Greece’s brutal colonialism of Macedonia and Macedonians beginning in 1913 when the territory was partitioned between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria and in effect giving Greece de facto right to interfere in Macedonian sovereignty. And removing any reference to a Macedonian national identity but Albanian identity plus the other ethnic minorities keep their identities intact. It’s George Orwell’s 1984 frighteningly come true. A police like apparatus will enforce that no mention of Macedonia is made without the prefix North.

 In return for all of this is Greece not blocking Macedonia’s entry into both the EU and NATO. 

Moreover, the constitutional changes envisioned would include placing the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the 2001 deal signed after the ethnic Albanian uprising, instigated by the US, which has turned Macedonia into an unofficial federation, in the constitution. This would in probability facilitate Albanian secession from Macedonia down the track. 

Moreover, Inserting the Ohrid Framework Agreement into the Macedonian constitution is a deliberate ploy by the US to give it an alibi for unleashing the 2001 ethnic Albanian war in Macedonia. see link to Guardian article from 2001.

Opponents to the Prespa Agreement claimed that dirty tricks were used to get 8 Opposition MPs, mainly from the VMRO-DPMNE party, to cross the floor. Some had been indicted for corruption or terrorism charges related to the 27 April 2017 parliamentary attack and had allegedly been offered a deal for their vote. Some even went as far as claiming that last year’s parliamentary attack had been delibrately staged managed to be later used as blackmail. Others suggested that both the ruling SDSM government and the main Opposition VMRO-DPMNE were in collusion in order to get the Prespa Agreement through.



Whatever the veracity of the various claims may be, what is puzzling is the behaviour of a prominent US official.

A few days after the vote was taken, US State Department official, Matthew Palmer, arrived in Macedonia to give his “blessing” to the vote but declined to answer whether US pressure was applied on any members of parliament to vote in favour. The question was put to him would he testify under oath in the US Congress that no undue pressure took place:




The US State Department had issued a “warning” letter to VMRO-DPMNE Opposition leader Christian Mickovski to accept the Prespa Agreement. The EU wasn’t prepared to comment at any cost.



STRATEGIC CHESS-BOARD - Harald Kotschy - ex Austrian Ambassador to Macedonia remains a staunch critic of the Prespa Agreement:

Translated from the German (Austrian) - link here


This redefinition of Macedonian identity, history, language and culture is the real aim of Greece, since outside of North Macedonia there will be no Macedonian resident population, no Macedonian history, language and culture. In this way, the cloth of silence could once and for all be spread once and for all through the brutal Greek annexation of Aegean-Macedonia in 1913, with its non-Greek majority population (Turks, Bulgarians, Macedonians), compulsory Greekization and human rights violations. Aegean-Macedonia did not receive its new Hellenistic character until the settlement of the Little Asiatic Greeks in 1923, on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne.

The surprise was great on the evening of September 30th. Among the Balkan correspondents and ambassadors in Skopje. * The elite of Brussels, who had come to support the government in Skopje, which had been brought to power by means of a "regime change" by the EU and the USA last year, to the very last media. In the US and NATO, urgently need Macedonia as a staging area for the encirclement of Russia to master the "Eurasian chess board" (Zbigniew Brzezinski Quote).

In the non-binding referendum on the Macedonian-Greek prespa agreement aimed at settling the name dispute, almost two-thirds of voters from all camps in the urn stayed away last Sunday. Ethnic Macedonian voters expected to follow the boycott appeal. What was surprising, however, was the low participation of the - according to their politicians - per EU and per NATO oriented Albanian population. This shows that, on the one hand, the actual size of this population group no longer corresponds to the results of the (most recent) census of 2002, on the other hand, the Albanian scene should no longer follow its political representatives as homogenously as it once did. But it is only superficially about the rejected from Greece state name of the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to the amendment to "Republic of North Macedonia", the Prespa Agreement provides, in particular, for the term "Macedonian" to refer only to the territory of North Macedonia. However, "Macedonia" geographically covers a much larger area than today's Republic, especially today's northern Greece. The term “Macedonian” as a term for an independent population together with its language and culture, which has developed in this area....

Sunday, October 14, 2018

DESPERATELY SEEKING SEKERINSKA


Macedonia’s most powerful woman...
DESPERATELY SEEKING SEKERINSKA - who is the real Radmila? A woman of many faces, identities...

by Sasha Uzunov
Skopje, Macedonia


One of Macedonia’s most controversial politicians is under new scrutiny following the failed referendum of 30 September- Radmila Sekerinska, the current Defence Minister and onetime protégé of Branko Crvenkovski, SDSM’s (Macedonian Social Democratic Union) founding leader way back in the 1990s.

Although a darling of the West for many years, Sekerinska has long been heavily criticised and even mocked at home. Many of her foreign admirers seem, ironically, unaware of this.  The US sees her as more competent than Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev; a safer pair of hands so to speak. (see link here).

Now that the 30 September referendum on the Prespa Agreement has failed (link here), it is time to take a look in the mirror – is it possible that Radmila Sekerinska’s unpopularity among Macedonians would have something to do with the referendum’s failure?

IS THE INTERNAL PURGE / CONFRONTATION APPROACHING IN SDSM?

Now, TEAM UZUNOV can report that the knives are out for Sekerinska within her own party. A former apparatchik from the SDSM’s 2002-2006 government, who has knowledge of the current goings-on in SDSM, told TEAM UZUNOV that “if Zaev and Sekerinska fail to push the constitutional changes through parliament to please their Western backers, both of them may be replaced:

"It is common knowledge among Macedonians that the unpopular prime minister, Zoran Zaev, may be risking his political future with the failed name-change referendum. But until recently, the continued rise to power of his defence minister – who many believe is the real leader of the country – was ‘safe’ from any fallout of the referendum’s failure.

Nevertheless, the old political apparatchik tells TEAM UZUNOV, “no one is safe, there are new generations coming up, and a lot of people in SDSM intensely dislike or are jealous of Rada for how specially she is treated by Western diplomats.”

However, another Macedonian source with close ties to the US Embassy also tells TEAM UZUNOV that “the Americans were happy to let her become defence minister when Zaev came to power, but they were irritated that she did not hire two or three specific people into that ministry, who are under American patronage.” 


A BAFFLING BREAKDOWN- SEKERINSKA BLOWS UP ON CAMERA

There may be something to this, as TEAM UZUNOV clearly touched a nerve by simply asking her a simple question at a government press conference on the night of the failed referendum. The revealing footage reveals the two-sided nature of Sekeinska- going in mere seconds from smiling diplomat to angry politician.

In the clip, which received over 8,000 views on YouTube in one day alone, Sekerinska piles on the charm with select foreign journalists, while refusing to answer a fundamental question about who wrote the Prespa Agreement- the basic document on which the Macedonian voters were voting that Sunday. Bizarrely, the defence minister lashed out to the camera that ‘you’re threatening me’ and that ‘this is the third time’ you have asked the question. Of course, neither of these claims were true.

While TEAM UZUNOV has asked the question about Prespa’s authorship to Minister of Justice Renata Deskoska and US Ambassador Jess Baily, we had never until that moment addressed this key question to Sekerinska. Her infuriated and out of protocol remarks indicated that Macedonia’s ‘golden girl’ may be becoming a giant liability.




Crucially this is occurring at a moment of great controversy- as the government continues trying to thwart the public will by pushing through legislation that would see a majority of MPs vote through constitutional amendments in order to railroad through the same Prespa Agreement concessions to Greece that was rejected at referendum by a resounding 63 percent of Macedonian voters. The voters followed the logic of a new protest group Bojkotiram. The group claims on social media that a British company called Stratagem is trying to bribe the vital few MPs from opposition VMRO-DPMNE, to the tune of 250,000 euros each, so they will vote yes on the SDSM government’s amendments.

COMMUNIST YUGOSLAV BACKGROUND- A PASSPORT TO POWER

Sekerinska’s mother worked for the state electricity company ELEM, during the post-Yugoslav transition period when it was divided up partly sold to foreign investors. Macedonians have dubbed these kind of shady privatisations as ‘bonbona business’ (hinting at the massive kickbacks and bribes the 1990s privatisations brought). 

Sekerinska’s husband, Bozidar Jankovski, has long had the nickname ‘Bobo Diners’ for his longstanding role as director of Diner’s Club Macedonia. Bizarrely, he was one of the many politicians and others briefly pardoned by President Gjorge Ivanov in April 2016. It is still unknown why he was on the list with politicians like Nikola Gruevski and Zoran Zaev but according to media reports, like most of those he made a written request to the president to be un-pardoned.

RADA’S METEORIC RISE

Radmila Sekerinska gained altitude as a leading politician faster than an astronaut launcing into orbit. The meteoric rise in power of the admittedly clever and talented Sekerinska was thus hardly accidental-being part of the Yugoslav communist elite has been a ticket to luxury living for many Macedonians with ties to Tito’s former regime, political functions, companies, UDBA secret service and so on.

But though this family background would be enough to enter politics (firstly, as protégé of Branko Crvenkovski, SDSM founder and heir to the communist legacy). Indeed at the tender age of 26, she became Branko’s Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration and Coordination of Foreign Assistance, serving until the SDSM was booted out of power by VMRO-DPMNE in 2006.

It’s therefore not puzzling in the slightest that Sekerinska was specifically chosen as an American pet- a role she has held for well over a decade. This is clearly obvious from her key position when SDSM was in opposition both before and after the political crisis that started in 2015, coinciding with the arrival of the highly unpopular American ambassador, Jess Baily. In fact some of the clearest indications of this come from the American official documents themselves as revealed in leaked Wikileaks cables.

SEKERINSKA IN WIKILEAKS- MAKING THE ‘WHO’s WHO’ LIST

The fact that Sekerinska was on the State Department and CIA radar is confirmed by none other than Wikileaks. A US Embassy Skopje cable dated 10 January 2007 lists Sekerinska as one of the ‘five most influential women in Macedonia.’

The cable recalls that the then-34 year old Sekerinska, an electrical engineer by training, had until 2006 been Crvenkovski’s Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration. Many Macedonians put Sekerinska in the category of those loathed politicians who have ‘never worked a day in their lives.’ Indeed the cable states that “she has been prominent in politics since 1998, when she was elected an SDSM Member of Parliament and served as the SDSM Spokesperson.” In other words, this descendent of prominent communist-era officials had a path to power ready and waiting for her, being elected to parliament at the tender age of 25.

The main reason that Sekerinska was on the American radar at the time of the cable was because she “was elected in November 2006 as the leader of SDSM, the largest ethnic Macedonian opposition party, and remains an MP.” - see link here 

WIKILEAKS ON SEKERINSKA’S STINT AS SDSM PRESIDENT- ESCAPING BRANKO’S ‘SHADOW’ 

Another Wikileaks cable, written by then Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic on 14 November 2006, discusses Sekerinska’s victory at the SDSM’s party congress held days before. It lays out in plain writing what many Macedonians have long known. It says that Sekerinska had “long been considered the heir apparent and who enjoyed the strong support of President Crvenkovski.” In typical communist style, she was the only candidate for party leadership: Sekerinska “won easily, receiving 456 votes of the 516 ballots cast.” One of the SDSM vice-president’s elected at the congress, Jani Makraduli, remained a party apparatchik through the recent crisis and was already very close to Sekerinska at the time she became SDSM president in November 2006. Indeed the US cable states that Makraduli was so closely aligned with Sekerinska that “he was her witness at her recent marriage. (As of 2018, Makraduli is deputy minister of environment in the Zaev-Sekerinska government). see link here 

In revealing language about SDSM’s future stepping ‘out of Crvenkovski’s shadow’ the US ambassador writes that  “although Sekerinska's rise to power in the party owes much to  Crvenkovski's support, that does not necessarily mean she  will repay the favor with blind loyalty to him and his  circle. “Indeed the cunning politician, the Americans estimated, was “likely to work to escape Crvenkovski’s shadow in order to strengthen her own control over the rank and file and implement the party reforms she has advocated.

All in all it’s clear that the US focused its efforts on building up the career of the new opposition leader to make a break with the past- something that insiders today have told TEAM UZUNOV the US is cynically prepared to do as well- but with Sekerinska this time getting the “Branko treatment.” In fact, this is what the former SDSM official had to say: “if Zaev and Sekerinska fail, she will probably be removed in a ‘nice’ way, by getting some important post in NATO or the UN as a compensation for losing the referendum.”

The US cable of November 2006 also showed high hopes for the newly elected prime minister from VMRO-DPMNE, another American puppet, Nikola Gruevski. It says that he “likely would jump at the chance to  widen any gap between Sekerinska and Crvenkovski, given his long-standing disdain for the President and refusal to recognise Crvenkovski's election as legitimate. Sekerinska  may therefore find a more flexible, compromise-ready  government ally will give her the leverage she needs to increase the distance between her and Crvenkovski.” Ironically, while Gruevski later became Enemy Number 1 of the US for his independent minded stance and nationalist views, Sekerinska became ever closer to Western ambitions for Macedonia’s future.

SEKERINSKA’S SUPPORT FOR ‘NORTH MACEDONIA’ NAME AND IDENTITY CHANGE- A RED LINE VIOLATED?

Part of the reason why many Macedonians consider Ms. Sekerinska a hypocrite is because she is now going back on former ‘red lines’ the SDSM set almost a decade ago, in talks with US representatives, with the Prespa Agreement concessions.

Much of the controversy over the recently failed Prespa Agreement was the SDSM government’s agreement with the Tsipras government on renaming the country ‘North Macedonia,’ and the ethnicity as ‘citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia’ rather than ‘Macedonian.’ This is a clear and cynical attempt by SDSM, as many have pointed to blur the lines between the definitions of the words ‘citizenship and ‘nationality.’

A 2008 cable (from the Athens US Embassy, the then Greek PM Karamanlis indicated that the idea was already being floated. Karamanlis blamed the Macedonians for the usual “intransigence” but said that: “a mutually acceptable solution -- which could include a composite name of "New, Upper, North, whatever Macedonia" for use in international fora and another name (i.e., the constitutional name) for internal use -- had to be found now before the NATO Bucharest summit or Greece would not approve FYROM's entry into Euro-Atlantic institutions.” These Greek demands violated Macedonia’s (until Zaev) red lines. see link here 

All together it is scandalous enough in that it indicates Washington was officially considering the current Prespa Agreement name formulation almost 10 years ago with both sides. 

RADA’S GREATEST HITS- AND BLOOPERS

The West has propped up and sponsored a politician, in Radmila Sekerinska, who knows just what to say and how to say it to Brussels bigwigs and Washington head honcos, but is mostly mocked and reviled in her home country. The fact is, the average man on the street sees her as dismissive, often arrogant tone, superiority complex, and attempts to curry favour with foreign luminaries through artificial politeness. She is considered a political cynic who would sees benefit when her own party colleagues are criticised (most recently, Zoran Zaev with his high-profile role in the political crisis) to advance her own interests indirectly. This is possibly because she learned the hard way that her own lack of charisma and popularity were negatively impacting her ambitions.

This was seen when as party president in the 2008 elections, she came up with the disastrous campaign advert that literally states the Macedonian phrase, ‘posle ebenje, nema kaenje.’ (a vulgar term meaning ’no regrets after f**king.’ The video clip of 27 May 27 2008 aired in television, bewildering older voters.

In the spot, a young woman is depicted waking up next to a young man, looking in apparent horror at him as if wondering what she had done the night before. When the girl tells him to leave, the young man says he will spend the next four years with her. The point Sekerinska was cynically trying to make was that voters would regret it if they voted to re-elect VMRO-DPMNE. But for critics the whole concept just reaffirmed the popular view of Sekerinska as a cold and cynical politician, and her party was decisively defeated at the election.



In another video from her election campaign of 2008, Sekerinska made the odd claim that in six months she would start the EU negotiation process. Does this hint, as the Wikileaks cable reveals, that the specially-groomed American pet had already a plan in shape to change Macedonia’s name- 10 years before her current attempt through the Prespa Agreement? We may never know, since no one has asked.



A much more recent video that seeped into the Macedonian popular culture is of Sekerinska’s August 2016 visit to the village of Stajkovsi after torrential flooding. Sekerinska’s treatment of a weeping village women was captured in a video clip, and made her the butt of jokes when the TV and later video spot aired, with people seizing on the trip as a cynical attempt to show a ‘human side’ to a disinterested politician out to score popularity points.


WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR RADMILA SEKERINSKA?

The fact of the matter is that the West, and Branko Crvenkovski before that, groomed this heir to communist patronage from a very early age to become Macedonia’s main international power broker. But despite all the rhetoric and free rides, she has failed to deliver.

This was seen in the above mentioned 2008 elections, where she failed to unseat Gruevski. The results for SDSM were so bad that Branko Crvenkovski took over (after stepping down from the national presidency) for the 2011 elections, with SDSM also lost. When Zaev became SDSM president, and also lost the 2014 elections in humiliating fashion, Sekerinska got a second chance to prove her value to the Western powers with the political crisis and name change.

That opportunity hangs in the balance now, with the name change referendum failure marking the possible end for the Macedonian ‘golden girl.’ In her heart of hearts, Radmila Sekerinska already knows that all Macedonian politicians are inserted by the US, and all are removed when they have served their purpose or fallen out of favour- as is seen by the fates of the like of Branko Crvenkovski, Ljubco Georgievski, Nikola Gruevski and so on. 

At the end of the day, the failed referendum of 30 September- itself based on name issue ideas at least a decade old- may also prove to be a referendum on the politicians who made the deal with Greece. The US and its European allies have spent millions and lavished all sorts of favours on making Sekerinska Macedonia’s most powerful politician. But America’s patience does not last forever. Should SDSM fail to deliver, it’s likely that none of its leaders will be safe. But someone like Sekerinska, with longtime international contacts, she will probably have a soft landing- continuing her charmed existence in an international organisation somewhere outside of Macedonia.

SEKERINSKA’S BIZARRE SERB NATIONALIST CARD? Opportunist? Hypocrite? Chameleon?


In 2010 during a heated and emotional debate between Sekerinska and Serbian nationalist politician Ivan Stoiljkovic, a Macedonian MP, Stoijlkovic accused Sekerinska of being anti Serb. In reaction to the accusation, Sekerinska, a social democrat who publicly criticises nationalism, deliberately played the Serb nationalist card on Stoijlkovic by emphasising her Serb background and gave a pledge not to harm the interests of the local Serb community.

In over 20 years of political life she has never held a protest against Serbian nationalism outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje, not even when the US Embassy in Macedonia was set a light in 1999 by Serb extremists linked to the Milosevic regime.

In protests dubbed the Colour Revolution two years ago, Sekerinska was photographed hurling an object at a Macedonian statue in the capital.

You could argue her behaviour is racist towards ethnic Macedonians. see link here 





US PLAYING OFF ETHNIC HATREDS AS A STRATEGY?


One of the questions that TEAM UZUNOV posed to US Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr Jess Baily, was the US deliberately using ethnic hatreds as a political weapon to attack native ethnic Macedonian identity. It was a question the Ambassador declined to answer. see link here 


The West’s “Good Serb, Bad Serb” routine:


Then Serb Prime Minister and now President Alexander Vucic was pelted with rocks and bottles at Srebrenica during the massacre remembrance ceremony. Angry Bosnians were not labelled as “nationalist.”

On 27 April 2017, Sekerinska who has attacked native Macedonian statues is attacked in Macedonian Parliament by angry native ethnic Macedonians. Macedonians are labelled “nationalist.”

Strange paradox. in fact hypocrisy. The man who attacked her was justifiably jailed for assault.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate violence and both incidents of violence are wrong. But note the selectivity by the West.



FRENCH DUPLICITY - Thimionier’s Timing ! 


The French have also invested heavily in Radmila Sekerinska, so much so they have decorated her with a high state award amongst deliberate fanfare.


But you’ll note in the story below from earlier this year how the French Ambassador to Macedonia Mr Charles Thimonier waited many weeks until he had decorated Sekerinska first before responding to questions about her and then declined to comment. see link here




THE WOMAN OF MANY FACES: one minute she is the consummate “internationalist,” next playing the Serb nationalist card, now a firm supporter of the controversial and so called “Good Neighbourly Agreement” between Bulgaria and Macedonia, which in effect means the end of a separate Macedonian identity as a the price for Bulgarian support for Macedonia to join NATO and the EU. (link to Good Neighbourly Agreement story here). She is pictured below with Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Kressmir Karakachanov (left), a right wing nationalist who denies the existence of a separate Macedonian identity, and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose coalition government includes neo Nazi leader Volen Siderov of the notorious ATAKA party.

And not to mention her support of the outrageous Prespa Agreement...(link to Prespa Agreement story here) which turns Macedonia into a de facto Greek Hellenic Hong Kong.




TEAM UZUNOV contacted Ms Sekerinska a number of times via email to her officer and text message to her advisors with questions but has never received a response:


 From: Sasha Uzunov
Sent: Thursday, 4 January 2018 9:30 AM
To: kabinetMO@morm.gov.mk
Subject: Media query - Defence Minister Sekerinska

Subject: media questions for Macedonia's Defence Minister Ms Radmila Sekerinska

Dear Minister Sekerinska

My name is Sasha Uzunov, an Australian journalist who was recently in Macedonia. I have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am also a former Australian soldier.

See link here:

https://www.google.com.au/amp/ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/afghanistan-outside-the-wire-end-game-a-new-documentary-about-canada-in-afghanistan-to-air-on-cpac-this-week/amp

I wanted to ask you some questions:

1. In 2010 you made a bizarre statement during a heated debate with Serb Nationalist MP Ivan Stoijlkovic where you declared your Serbian background. Isn't this strange or contradictory  for someone who claims to be a social democratic and who campaigns against "nationalism?" Why was it important for you to boast of your Serbianess if you as a politician criticise so called Macedonian nationalism?
Link:
http://vecer.mk/makedonija/rada-pogolema-srbinka-od-srbite


2. On your official Defence Ministry website, your biography makes no mention of your Serbian background. Why is that?
Link:
http://morm.gov.mk/?page_id=48

3. There is a public perception amongst many Macedonians you are a Serb chauvinist who attacks native Macedonian statues and who is culturally insensitive. What is your response to this?  You have never protested against Serb nationalism outside the Serb Embassy in Skopje yet you throw paint at Macedonian statues? Do you have a conflict of interest?

4. In South Africa white politicians are very carefully or sensitive in their criticisms of native Black African identity for fear of being branded a racist. Bearing in mind that Serbia was the former brutal colonial ruler in Macedonia (1912-41) and played a hegemonistic role in Tito's Yugoslavia, should you being of Serb background refrain from attacking Macedonian statues in case you are accused of racism, chauvinism against native ethnic Macedonians ?
Link: https://www.google.com.au/amp/amp.citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/1541843/full-helen-zille-apologises-colonialism-tweets/

5. The German Deputy Ambassador Mr Marco Acquaticci has responded to concerns over controversial Albanian Nazi collaborator statues in western Macedonia. You have remained silent instead attacking Macedonian statues. Why is that?
Link:

http://teamuzunovmedia.blogspot.com.au/2017/12/germany-responds-to-albanian-nazi.html?m=1

Yours sincerely
Sasha Uzunov
Journalist / filmmaker
Australia